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Eleventh Hole Honey Bees

Wednesday, 20. October 2021 10:32

Despite favorable weather and abundant flowers, the Eleventh Hole honeybees had only a so-so year.
 
The success of a beehive depends on several factors – the most important being the existence and vitality of the resident queen.  In our case, this past summer started off with queens in all three hives (sometimes the queen dies over the winter), but all three were old and no longer laying the 2,000 plus eggs daily that lead to good honey production.  Even when her pattern of egg laying becomes spotty and the hive population is dwindling, it’s easy to put off pinching (killing) the queen.  Eventually the worker bees will replace her through a process called “supersedure”, but often by then the hive is weak and barely able to make honey for their next winter, let alone providing a surplus for the beekeeper. 

So, by August it was clear we had to replace all three queens.  The bees were not going to do it for us and, with winter coming, it was imperative that the queen build up a supply of young, winter bees that could keep the hive, and particularly the queen, warm through the winter.

Finding a queen in order to “pinch” her can be easy or arduous.  Because she resembles her offspring in most ways, she can easily hide among the many thousand bees that remain in the hive.  To make her easier to identify, beekeepers who raise queens mark the queen with a spot of color on her back.  For some months this works, but often the color wears off before it is needed.  That was the case with all three of our queens.  But we finally found and were ready to replace the queens with young, vibrant Carniolan queens from Wetlands Apiary in Brockton. 

The act of physically replacing a queen is another interesting part of beekeeping.  The hive is very territorial and won’t accept a new queen unless they know they are queenless.  They figure this out when they can no longer sense their queen’s pheromones in the hive.  But still bees can be suspicious of a new queen, and, if she is simply placed in the hive, the bees will often gang up and kill her.  For that reason she is introduced by enclosing her in a tiny wooden box with one screened side.  The box is wedged between two frames in the hive.  From the safety of this box she exudes her pheromones, which slowly replace those of the former queen.  In another wall of her box there is a hole that is stuffed full of marshmallow, which the worker bees slowly eat through.  After several days the marshmallow has been consumed, the new queen’s pheromones fill the hive and she can safely walk out of her cage.

Now, in mid October,  the Eleventh Hole Hives all have young queens and a growing workforce which should get them through the winter.  Stop by the Golf Shop for a jar of Eleventh Hole honey, or watch the menu in the restaurant.  Mary and Eric are finding ingenious ways to use our honey in cocktails, paired with cheese and on desserts. 

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The Bay Club’s New Wood Fired Brick Pizza Oven a Hit with Members

Monday, 19. April 2021 15:24

The Golf House restaurant recently acquired a new Wood Fired Brick Pizza Oven and members have been enjoying Pizza Nights each Wednesday for in-person dining or take-out. 

Bay Club Chefs have been perfecting their pizza making skills over the past couple of months and experimenting with various toppings.  Some favorites include Steak and Cheese with White Sauce, Peppers and Onion; Fungi with Truffled Duxelles, Roasted Mushrooms, Pickled Red Onion and Alpine Cheese Blend; and Margherita with Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Tomato and Fresh Basil.  Traditional Cheese and Pepperoni can also be found on the menu each week.

The chefs plan to use the new oven throughout the summer at the restaurant as well as for private events.

Members have a Pizza Making Demonstration Class to look forward to later in the spring, where participants will learn how to make Chef Nick’s dough as well as forming and cooking techniques.

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Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Golf House

Tuesday, 18. February 2020 13:00

Valentine's Dessert_cropLove was in there air this past weekend at the Golf House restaurant as Bay Club members sat down to an exquisite Valentine’s Day dinner.

Diners received a complimentary Sparkling Toast upon arrival to enjoy as they pondered the Prix Fixe menu which featured entrees including Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chop served with Lentils, Eggplant Puree, Romanesco and Mint Yogurt; Potato Gnocchi with Preserved Cherries, Foie Gras, Marsala and Fine Herbs; and Seared Filet Mignon with Mashed Potato, Roasted Winter Vegetables and Bearnaise.  And their festive meals ended on a sweet note with dessert choices such as Red Velvet Lava Cake with Molten Milk Chocolate and Strawberry Mousse with Berries Romanoff.

In addition, all the women guests received a red rose as they departed for the evening.

It was a lovely night had by all and we were delighted to be a part of our couples’ Valentine’s Day celebrations.

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Fourth of July Celebration at the Bay Club

Tuesday, 16. July 2019 14:25

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Another Fourth of July Celebration has come and gone at the Bay Club, but not without many fond new memories for the record numbers of members and their guests in attendance.

As in years past, the carnival-style atmosphere didn’t disappoint.  Children enjoyed the return of the dunk tank, inflatable obstacle course, face painting, bounce house, and individual and team races.  Our Mini-Golf Spectacular was once again a big hit for all ages.  And what has become the biggest attraction in recent years, our famous Egg Toss drew a large crowd of both participants and spectators.  In the end, the highly contested competition saw a new pair of champions.

Food choices consisted of member favorite Fried Chicken, Hamburgers, Grilled Sausage, Vegetables and Summer Salads.  And the kids enjoyed Hot Dogs, Popcorn and Cotton Candy.

And lastly, the highlight of the evening saw the best fireworks display in the event’s history, with more than 20 full minutes of brilliant color lighting up the night sky.

The compliments are still rolling in, and we’re of course already thinking ahead for next year’s big event!

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Cocktails Class at the Golf House

Friday, 5. July 2019 12:03

Photo Jun 12, 6 13 38 PMIn June, many Bay Club members enjoyed a beautiful evening on the patio for “Cocktails with Eric.”  During this event, Golf House Bartender, Eric Marshall demonstrated how to prepare eight different cocktails including a New York Sour, Blood Orange Paloma, Basil Cucumber Gimlet, Spanish Coffee and Pistachio Shots.  Eric showcased technique, as well as the use of fresh, quality ingredients throughout.  In addition, he provided a brief history on each of the drinks.  Participants then had the opportunity to sample each of the cocktails.

It was truly a fun evening in which attendees thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and many laughs.  And some of these special cocktails are now offered on the menu at the restaurant for all members to try!

Photo Jun 12, 5 18 17 PM

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Valentine’s Day at the Golf House

Monday, 25. February 2019 15:05

GolfHouse-WINTEREach year, Bay Club members are treated to a special Valentine’s Day dinner at the Golf House restaurant, perfect for a romantic date night or a celebration with friends.

This year was no different.  The Food and Beverage team prepared a prix fixe holiday menu which offered selections such as Spinach Gnudi, Duck Confit, Seared Sea Scallops, Grilled New York Strip Steak and Lobster Ravioli to name a few.  Decadent dessert choices included Chocolate Souffle, Crème Brulee or Strawberry Crepe.

In addition, there were a few special surprises for each table such as an Amuse-Bouche, Petit Fours and roses.

Members thoroughly enjoyed the fabulous dinner and are counting down the days until next Valentine’s Day!

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“Deserted Island Wines from the Bay Club Wine List”

Friday, 12. October 2018 13:50

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Deserted Island Wines from the Bay Club Wine List

by Nick Lisotto, Food and Beverage Manager and Sommelier

 It’s an age-old question: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what wines would you want to have in your possession?

Over the course of the last two seasons, we have been fortunate to build a wine cellar that our membership can be proud to present to guests and family alike.  While choosing a favorite wine can be difficult for some, at the end of the day, we all have our preferences.  And I am happy to share mine with you.

Because of the immense challenge in pairing down a wine list, I hand selected a few wines to break down into the following categories for exploratory purposes:  Value White, Value Red, Favorite Sparkling, Favorite White and Favorite Red.

  • Value White:  Semillon, Esporao, Private Selection, Alentejano, Portugal 2014
    • Semillon is a white grape originally from France, made popular in Australia and, I believe, done best in Portugal.  Esporao showcases bright fruit with the subtlety of oak aging to balance it on the palate, along with a deeper depth of maturity coming from bottle aging.
  • Value Red:  Chianti Classico, Castellare, Castellina, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 2016
    • Castellare’s commune in Casetllina crafts arguably the very best Chianti at its price point.  By blending 95% local Sangioveto and 5% Canoilio for extra depth, body and intensity, it creates an outstanding wine suitable to drink every day; or every meal for that matter.
  • Favorite Sparkling:  Brut Rose, Billecart-Salmon, Epernay, Champagne, France NV
    • There is sparkling wine, there is Champagne and then there is Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose.  A masterful blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier from Grand Cru vineyards, aged on its lees for 3 years before bottling, it’s the essence of romance in the bottle.  Its visual appeal of roses and gold is only surpassed by the intoxicating experience on the palate of soft fruit coupled with vivacious bubbles and a lingering essence of brioche.
  • Favorite White:  Riesling, Carl Lowen, 1896, Herrenberg, Mosel, Germany 2015
    • There are not many people who like to age Riesling, though one of the premier importers in America and the expert on Riesling, Terry Thiese happens to share this affinity with me.  The 2015 vintage of Riesling was fantastic and this bottling of ungrafted 100+ year old vines was head of the class.  For those who like dry white wine, this one is epic; and worthy of a final meal.
  • Favorite Red Wine:  Amarone della Valpolicella, Dal Forno Ramano, Monte Lodoletta 2009
    • This is not just a favorite wine that we have, it is my favorite Red Wine – period.  It’s huge; but worth the attempt to extract the appreciation for the wines that have spent over 100 years crafting.  Native grapes Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Oseleta and Croatina are handpicked and dried for months until the flavors have intensified.  The wine then ferments completely dry, ages in oak and then even further in the bottle; until the final product is a wine that far exceeds anything most people have ever tried.  And Dal Forno Amarone is an experience you will want to have at least once in your lifetime.

From our cellar, these would be my Deserted Island Wines and we are honored to have them for members and their guests to enjoy at the Golf House Restaurant.

 

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An Evening with Author, Justin Spring

Friday, 23. February 2018 9:15

Justin Spring - Author

In January, we were fortunate to welcome New York-based writer, Justin Spring to the Golf House restaurant for a unique dining experience with our members.

The evening began with a brief lecture by Justin about his latest book, “The Gourmands’ Way.”  Released in October 2017, the book shares how French food became popular in America following World War II and was influenced by icons such as Julia Child, M.F.K. Fisher, Richard Olney and others.

Following the talk, members shared a single long dining table and enjoyed a five-course dinner inspired by the historical figures in the book and prepared by Executive Chef, Jim Mercer and his team.  The menu included offerings such as Duck Rillettes, Potage Germiny (Sorrell Bisque) and Pork Roast with Prunes. Food and Beverage Manager and Sommelier, Nick Lisotto paired specific wines to best complement each course.

The evening concluded with all participants receiving a personally autographed copy of “The Gourmand’s Way.”

Justin is the author of many monographs, catalogs, museum publications, and books, including the biography Fairfield Porter: A Life in Art (Yale University Press, 2000) and Paul Cadmus: The Male Nude (Universe, 2002).  He has been the recipient of a number of grants, fellowships, and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the International Association of Art Critics Best Show Award.  He has held research fellowships from Yale University, Brown University, Radcliffe College and Amherst College.  His monograph on Paul Cadmus was a finalist for the Lamda Literary Award in Art History.

 For more information about Justin and his book, “The Gourmands’ Way”, please click here.

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Members Enjoy Weekly “Dinner for Two” at the Golf House Restaurant

Wednesday, 17. January 2018 10:25

GolfHouse-WINTEREach week, members at the Bay Club enjoy a special dinner deal at the Golf House restaurant with a Dinner for Two on Sunday evenings.

 

Executive Chef, Jim Mercer and his culinary team create a different prix fixe menu weekly, featuring a choice of soup or salad, two entrée options and a delicious, homemade dessert to cap off the evening.  Some of the entrees featured this season include Chicken Paprikash, Veal Meatloaf, Lamb Ragu and Seared Scallops. A complimentary glass of wine to highlight the chosen entree is paired by Food and Beverage Manager and Sommelier, Nick Lisotto.

 

This popular event finds members enjoying themselves for a night out, whether it be with the family, friends, or date night.

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Well-known Shark Expert, Greg Skomal Returns to the Bay Club

Thursday, 14. September 2017 11:47

SkomalDr. Greg Skomal, a senior marine fisheries biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and director of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program recently returned to the Bay Club to give a lecture on his work with the infamous Great White Shark.

A large crowd of members and their guests gathered to listen to the well-known shark expert speak about some of his most recent projects, with a focus around the latest technologies used to help experts learn about the sharks and their habits.  Dr. Skomal explained that the successful conservation of seals over the past few years has contributed to the population increase in white sharks being spotted in the waters off Cape Cod.  He also noted that the sharks are here to feed on seals, not people.  Cape Cod has become the only known aggregating site for white sharks in the NorthAtlantic and the Massachusetts Shark Research Program has been studying the biology and abundance of this species since 2009.

Being a scientist before the current “age of technology,” Dr. Skomal spent a great deal of time researching deceased animals.   While this was helpful in gathering biological data, such as feeding and growth rate, it didn’t shed any light on their behaviors when they were alive.  With the advent of new technology including satellites and acoustic based equipment, scientists are now able to monitor their actions, such as daily travels and migration habits.  One of his favorite new tools to use is the GoPro camera and he wowed members with multiple videos captured during his quests to tag sharks.   That process includes utilizing a plane in the air to spot the sharks.  Once spotted, the vessel carrying the scientist who is standing on the pulpit with the tagging pole comes up alongside the shark.  Dr. Skomal then strikes at the opportune time,White Shark Curly Skomal inserting a tracking device into the base of the dorsal fin of the great white.

Members raved about the lecture and enjoyed a specially prepared dinner at the Golf House restaurant following the talk which included Grilled Shark.

Dr. Skomal is an accomplished marine biologist, underwater explorer, photographer, aquarist and author.  He has written dozens of scientific research papers and has appeared in a number of film and television documentaries, including programs for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, ESPN, and numerous television networks.   For more information on Dr. Skomal and his work, please click here.

Photo courtesy of The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Photo courtesy of The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

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Comfort Foods Abound During Casual Wednesdays at the Golf House

Tuesday, 8. November 2016 11:53

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As the days grow shorter and the colder, winter weather makes its way to New England, there’s nothing better than a warm, comforting meal with family and friends.  Now in its second season, the Casual Wednesday at the Golf House series provides just that for members in the fall and winter months.

The Food and Beverage team at the Golf House restaurant introduced Casual Wednesday last fall and the events quickly became popular.  Every week features a dinner buffet with a new and fun theme.  New this year, a different weekly themed beverage will be available.

This year kicked off with “Mexican and Margaritas” which included Beef Tacos, Shrimp Fajitas, Chicken Enchiladas and Churros for dessert.   Other themed menus on the schedule this season include Chinese Take-Out with Mai Tais; Burger Bar with Milkshakes; and Luau with fun Tropical Island Oasis drinks.  A particularly fun evening being planned for the children will be Breakfast for Dinner in December.  Following the meal, the Polar Express will be shown while hot cocoa and cookies are served.

Whether members stop in after playing Paddle Tennis or they take the family out for a quick, fun meal during the week, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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Winter Specials at the Golf House Restaurant

Friday, 20. February 2015 10:22

CassouletThis month on the Golf House Dinner Menu members will find two of Executive Chef Jim Mercer’s favorite winter cravings.  The first item is the French White Bean and Meat Casserole, Cassoulet. There are many versions of the recipe, however Chef Mercer leans towards the one from Toulouse.  This variety features Tarbais Beans, Duck Confit and Garlic Pork Sausage.  Cassoulet is not a difficult dish, especially if you spread out the preparations over a few days. You will however need to know how to make Duck Confit, a skill Chef Mercer says  you will not regret.  This method yields a most delicious, at the ready duck meat for a fast appetizer or pasta filling.  Having enjoyed Cassoulet with a glass of red wine at Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston some 25 years ago,  Chef Mercer quickly learned how to prepare this dish and it has been a part of his winter menu repertoire ever since.

Another item he can’t go without during the cold winter months is Raclette Cheese from Switzerland. This extremely pungent and tasty, cow’s milk cheese is likely considered the original fondu.  All one needs to do is to hold the cut side of a wheel of cheese in front of a fire and “rake” it off onto bread or boiled potatoes.  The popular Raclette machine is the Swiss counter part to the American toaster.

Both of these dishes are fine and satisfying items during the chilly winter months.  Bon appétit!

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Wednesday Wine Nights at the Bay Club

Tuesday, 3. February 2015 16:22

IMG_3873Blane Toedt, Restaurant Manager and Corey Nuffer from Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery recently held a series of Wine Nights at the Golf House restaurant.  During these hour long wine seminars  Corey educated members on a different wine topic each week.  Her inaugural event, The Champagne Method helped members to understand why Champagne tastes differently from Prosecco, Moscato, Asti and Cava.  She also explained the difference between Champagne from France and everywhere else.  Members not only heard about the differences but they were able to taste them as they sampled wines available at the Golf House.  Her next seminar Aging Your Wines explored just what goes on when a wine ages, beginning with why you swirl your wine in a glass.  Members did a vertical tasting of wines aged not years, but days.   And for the final seminar, Food + Wine Pairing 101, Corey took a nod from the teachings of Master Sommelier Randa Warren and covered the basics.  In addition, Executive Chef Jim Mercer prepared a variety of food pairings to show a little of what can go right and what can go wrong when it comes to what’s in the glass.

Nuffer’s approach to wine is informed by her background in biology, theology, and music.  Managing at an Italian restaurant as well as a country club provided the space necessary for a new approach to wine education to emerge.  After being selected for an internship at Chicago’s NPR affiliate, WBEZ, Nuffer moved to Chicago to work with a New York Times bestselling author. This led to an editorial position for a Food + Drink section of Chicago magazine.  Currently, Nuffer helms the educational outreach as well as representation of Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery here in Massachusetts.

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Fishes of Buzzards Bay by Mike Bednarski, Ph.D

Friday, 23. January 2015 12:18

Summer_flounderThe Bay Club welcomed guest lecturer, Mike Bednarski, Ph.D., Stock Assessment Specialist for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries’ to the club to discuss the natural history of the fishes of Buzzards Bay and their importance to the people of Massachusetts.  Coastal waters of Massachusetts are home to a diverse community of aquatic species and provide anglers, divers, and nature lovers with a world class experience.  One of the Commonwealth’s most productive regions is the Buzzards Bay Estuary, a dynamic system that hosts a variety of different fish species, ranging from the alewife, an important forage species, to the striped bass, one of the nation’s most valuable recreational species.  Members learned about the fish that inhabit the bay as Mike provided an overview on each fish of interest.  He also highlighted how the fish community changes throughout the different seasons and the importance of the Division of Marine Fisheries.

Mike serves as Massachusetts’ representative to many of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Technical and the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council’s Monitoring Committees.  Much of his work focuses on understanding the biology and fishery characteristics of many of the Commonwealth’s inshore species including bluefish, summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass.  

After the talk, members enjoyed a specially prepared dinner including fried scup at the Golf House restaurant. 

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Cranberries 101 – Neighbor to Neighbor by Chris Makepeace and Dawn Gates-Allen

Wednesday, 15. October 2014 16:30

CranberriesChris Makepeace, former President of Ocean Spray, and Dawn Gates-Allen, Communications Manager for the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association (CCCGA) recently presented “Cranberries 101 – Neighbor to Neighbor” for the members.  Using a variety of pictures, they demonstrated how the bogs change during each season of the year, and how the growers deal with issues such as frost, pesticides, and pollination.  This unique presentation told the story of the history, heritage, cultural practices and neighbor to neighbor relationships which help educate within the cranberry industry to preserve an important economic agricultural industry in Massachusetts.  CCCGA is one of the country’s oldest farming organizations.  Through research, assistance to farmers, and professional development, the CCCGA works to ensure that cranberry farming can survive urbanization and that open space and clean water, vital to cranberry growing, will be preserved.   

Members enjoyed cranberry inspired cocktails before the lecture followed by dinner at the Golf House restaurant.

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